ERBIL, Iraq

The UK’s envoy to Iraq said on Friday that armed groups must withdraw from the Sinjar district of the northern Nineveh province as part of a recent deal between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on the status of the region, according to Iraqi local media.

British Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Hickey reiterated his country’s support for the recent deal which would end the PKK terror group’s presence in Sinjar and the surrounding areas.

“We will work closely with UN and the US to make sure that the armed groups withdraw from the region,” Hickey said.

Last week, the Iraqi Prime Ministry announced a “historic deal” with the KRG to bolster the federal government’s authority in Sinjar under the constitution in terms of governance and security.

The spokesperson of the Iraqi prime minister, Ahmed Mulla Talal, said on Twitter that the agreement would end the authority of intruding groups in Sinjar, referring to the PKK.

The PKK terrorist group managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in mid-2014 under the pretext of protecting the local Ezidi community from Daesh/ISIS.

Around 450,000 Ezidis escaped Sinjar after Daesh/ISIS took control of the region in mid-2014.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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